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[[quoteright:300:[[Film/ANewHope http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/rsz_artoo_thesmartguy.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Being an actual guy is optional for the title.]]

->'''Aang:''' The question is, how are we gonna stop that thing?\\
'''Sokka:''' Why are you all looking at me?\\
'''Aang:''' You're the idea guy.\\
'''Sokka:''' So I'm the ''only'' one who can ''ever'' come up with a plan? That's a lot of pressure. \\
[He comes up with a plan 45 seconds later]
-->-- ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender''

This is the guy in the FiveManBand whose focus is on intellectual pursuits. This is TheTeam member who will always be prepared, sometimes CrazyPrepared. They will be at the computer doing RapidFireTyping. Expect some [[SesquipedalianLoquaciousness fancy talk]] and TechnoBabble from this character. Because their role is about ideas, plans, and being MissionControl, they initially [[NonActionGuy leave the action stuff to the others.]] Of course, WeakButSkilled is always in effect for this guy.

Physically if not [[GeekPhysiques tall and skinny]], they are usually {{short|erMeansSmarter}} [[TheShortGuyWithGlasses and wear glasses]]. They may even be [[TeenGenius a]] ChildProdigy. The Smart Guy is sometimes written as mousey and withdrawn. If not antisocial, at least non-social, sliding into TVGenius. Can be expected to [[SmartPeoplePlayChess play a mean game of chess.]]

Sometimes the Smart Guy is more street savvy then they appear. If this is the case it usually makes The Smart Guy physically as well as mentally capable. This is the path of the BadassBookworm, or one who MinoredInAssKicking. They remain firmly planted as the Smart Guy, but are just as ready to fight as everyone else. The results are often impressive, and usually have the advantage of surprise. Who expects the little guy with glasses to be an asskicker?

Powers and skills common to the smart guy include:
* In modern settings, The Smart Guy often has great skill with technology and engineering, in order to build and repair devices for TheTeam. The GadgeteerGenius, MadScientist, and TheProfessor will often fill this role. If they're the protagonist, they'll be a ScienceHero. As you push towards pure sci-fi they have a tendency to be aliens, cyborgs, or robots. This shows an innate higher reasoning capacity than normal humans, either through their race or having technology literally part of their bodies.
* In fantasy and superhero settings, they tend to be WeakButSkilled. This can manifest as [[SquishyWizard magic ability]], PsychicPowers, or SuperIntelligence.
* If they're a GadgeteerGenius, they will build and customize their own weaponry, such as PoweredArmor, vehicles, or being one [[FantasyGunControl of the few gun users.]] In a magical setting they may use [[SpellBook spells]] or a MagicStaff. If martial arts are the go to, they may use a SimpleStaff or an elegant sword.
* Their ElementalPowers are typically part of FireIceLightning. Fire as the 'birth of science' for curious types. Ice (or water) as the cold ivory towers of education and learning for bookish ones. Lightning to go along with machines for techies. Or as a mage they could use all three.
* His knowledge will allow him to [[EnemyScan find enemy weaknesses]], do research about upcoming threats, and serve as MrExposition (sometimes with TheBigBoard in tow) in order to explain plot points to the less intelligent members of the team (and the audience). This may make them less of an OmnidisciplinaryScientist and more of TheStrategist.
* Other common variants of TheSmartGuy include:
** Swapping book-smart genius for street-smart [[{{Trickster}} trickiness]]. A DeadpanSnarker detective or StreetUrchin; who has traded in knowledge and intelligence for know-how and intel. They figure out mysteries, track down foes, and get into hard to reach places. As a 'thief' archetype he may specialize in knives.
** An OldMaster or TheMentor that brings years of experience and wisdom with them.
** Because of the prevalence of ShorterMeansSmarter, some teams go as far as to replace the smart guy with a ''small'' guy for the [[GeekPhysiques visual]] [[TagalongKid contrast]] [[MiniatureSeniorCitizen with the rest]] of TheTeam without being particularly more intelligent.

In terms of relationships, The Smart Guy may be part of a LittleGuyBigBuddy duo with TheBigGuy, since their [[BetaCouple contrast doesn't lead to fights]] as often as TheHero and TheLancer. Alternatively the smart guy can act as a loyal sidekick under TheLeader, to contrast with TheLancer whose force of personality and vocal dissent is more of a partner on equal footing.

As casts have become more gender-balanced, TheSmartGirl is the one most likely to swap genders. Since the character type is outwardly sexless and non-masculine, turning them into The Smart Girl is not a big stretch. When used in this way, she's usually much less girly than TheChick.

In an ensemble, the Smart Guy is usually the last character to have a LoveInterest if they even bother to give him one at all. When they do, expect a subplot about the geek's unrequited feelings towards an unattainable cooler love interest for Smart Guys around the same age as the rest of the cast. [[ChildProdigy Younger]] [[TeenGenius Smart Guys]] may have a cute PuppyLove plot with someone their own age, or a PrecociousCrush on someone much older.

If there's a RobotBuddy on the team, he's usually The Smart Guy.

If you're looking for his EvilCounterpart in the FiveBadBand, it's TheEvilGenius.

Oh, and he's also part of the FourManBand in a comedy ensemble.

Not to be confused with the series ''Series/SmartGuy''.
* TheSmartGuy/AnimeAndManga
* TheSmartGuy/ComicBooks
* TheSmartGuy/{{Literature}}
* TheSmartGuy/LiveActionTV
* TheSmartGuy/VideoGames
* TheSmartGuy/WesternAnimation


[[folder:Audio Plays]]
* Satsuma is this for ''AudioPlay/ExitTunesPresentsACTORS''' Singing Club. He thinks too much that he has to be a BigEater to make up for all the energy his brain uses.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* ''Fanfic/SaviorOfDemons'': [[LabcoatOfScienceAndMedicine Murai]] is [[CunningLinguist the default translator]] for the Arcosians when they [[FirstContact go to meet the Tsufuru.]] He also has elements of TheSmartGuy and DeadpanSnarker.
* [[InsufferableGenius Sherman]] of ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries''. Though he's a bungling inventor, he's still the resident MrExposition.
* Henry Wong fills this role in the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries''
* Lightning Bolt in ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar''.
* Brain from ''Fanfic/MyLittleUnicorn'', [[InformedAttribute in theory anyway]].
* In ''FanFic/{{Horseshoes and Hand Grenades}}'' and its sidestories, we have different members. In Horseshoes alone we have [[BadassBookworm Riderman]], [[KnowledgeBroker JK]] and [[TheLeader Miu Kazashiro]]
** In ''Month of Sundays'' we have [[ShorterMeansSmarter Ibuki Watanabe]] for the "Cosmic Hunting Dogs".

* The SuperHero spoof film ''Film/TheSpecials'' from 2000 includes a brainy gadgeteer member of the titular superteam whose ''nom de guerre'' is simply "Mr. Smart".
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': There's a reason C-3PO refers to R2-D2 as his counterpart: They split the usual Smart Guy duties between them, with R2 handling the practical side and 3PO handling the exposition side.
* Kevin Sandusky of ''Film/TropicThunder'' is the one who knows what is going on the most. He recognized the Heroin Processing plant, he can read the map, and he's the only one of the actors who had actually read the script and the book.
* Lucius Fox in ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga''. He runs Wayne Enterprises, either invents or improves upon most of Batman's tech, and can come up with an antidote to Scarecrow's fear gas in the span of a night.
-->'''Bruce:''' (after Lucius explains how he made the antidote) Am I supposed to understand any of that?
-->'''Fox:''' No. I just wanted you to know how hard it was.
* Bruce Banner in ''Film/{{The Avengers|2012}}''. While the "[[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk other guy]]" gets his share of action, Nick Fury brings Bruce into the plot specifically because he knows more about gamma radiation than anyone on the planet. Tony Stark, InsufferableGenius extraordinaire, doesn't even mind playing Bruce's assistant.
%%* Breaker from ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra''.
%%** Lady Jaye from ''Film/GIJoeRetaliation''.
%%* Pete from ''Film/{{Neighbors|2014}}''.
* Hank [=McCoy=]/Beast from the ''Film/XMen'' films, is incredibly intelligent and a brilliant scientist who has invented most of the nifty tools and gadgets (X-Jet, Cerebro, etc.) that the X-Men use.

[[folder:Religion and Mythology]]
* In Myth/ClassicalMythology, Athena is this among the Olympians. Hermes sometimes fill this role in a trickster-ish sort of way.
* Among mortals, Odysseus is the "ideas man" for the [[strike:Greeks]] Achaeans in the Literature/TrojanCycle (including ''Literature/TheIliad'' and his very own story, ''Literature/TheOdyssey''). Pretty much every actual ''strategy'' mentioned in relation to UsefulNotes/TheTrojanWar starts with him, including (ironically) both one of the reasons for the war (the Achaean kings agreeing to protect whoever married Helen, to keep them from fighting over her) and the reason it ends (the TrojanHorse, of course). Naturally, Athena favors him and helps him out a lot (against the wishes of her uncle Poseidon, whom he had somehow offended).
* The [[Literature/TheBible Biblical prophet]] Daniel (aka Belteshazzar) was a brilliant scholar and a top-notch administrator.

* The [[DishingOutDirt Toa of Earth]] (such as [[GeniusBruiser Onua]] or [[GadgeteerGenius Nuparu]]) tend to fill this role on their respective Toa teams in ''{{Bionicle}}''.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', some of the Sparks are even identified by the Jagers as "da schmot guy".
** In Gil's case, [[NiceHat it's even on his hat.]]
* Vaarsuvius fills this role in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''. Although Roy Greenhilt has more common sense and Haley Starshine is more observant, V's sheer 18 INT has them beat. Besides, Roy and Haley are TheHero and TheLancer respectively.
* Hod, god of darkness and winter, is The Smart Guy to the Norse kids in ''Webcomic/BratHalla'', although he is a CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass as well.
* ''WebComic/MagickChicks'': [[StudentCouncilPresident Faith]] recognized [[{{meganekko}} Sandi's]] talents as a {{technopath}}, when she was young, and [[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/she_looks_out_for_us helped her learn to properly control her abilities.]] Now, she's so adept at her gift that she can [[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/slipped_past_our_defenses predict the probability of future events with 97.09% accuracy]]; so long as she has all the available data. What's more, the cast page of the comic's print edition describes her as "a living {{Google}}", which is why Faith chose her as her personal secretary and is genuinely surprised whenever Sandi ''[[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/the_dollar_store can't]]'' find intel on something.
* Riff from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' is both The Smart Guy and TheLancer, being a MadScientist with a [[TimTaylorTechnology penchant for]] [[MoreDakka destruction]].
* In ''Webcomic/DubiousCompany'', Walter starts out as this to [[BrainsAndBrawn Tiren]] and after they pick up [[BeautyBrainsAndBrawn Elly]]. But when the team picks up Sal, she then becomes the TheSmartGirl and Walter functionally shifts to TheLeader.
** This also occurs on the [[AntiVillain Imperial side]], with [[TheDragon Izor]] shifting the responsibility to [[HyperCompetentSidekick Gary]] once he becomes a prominent character.
* In ''[[{{Webcomic/Morphe}} morphE]]'', Asia Ellis fills the role of smart guy through being the analytical thinker of the FiveManBand who takes notes, makes maps when introduced to new areas and studies every text she can find to discover the many truths of the awakened world. Despite not being the most intellectual member of the party Asia fits this trope perfectly.
* Tedd of ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'' is knowledgeable and skilled in {{Magitek}} and the [[SufficientlyAnalyzedMagic science of magic]] to the point of being able to create magic watches out of mundane toy watches that can cast spells for even {{Muggle}} users.
* Nepta from ''{{Webcomic/Tinyraygun}} is a brilliant young space explorer. Unfortunately, her intellect's somewhat limited to what she learned in books.
* In ''{{Webcomic/Homestuck}}'', Rose is the beta kids' main Smart Guy and the primary [[MrExposition Miss Exposition]] when it comes to explaining the mysteries of Sburb. Even her mythological role as the Seer of Light marks her as a quester after knowledge. Jade is also very brainy, but her intelligence isn't as central to her character or role in the story as Rose's is.
** In the alpha session, Dirk (Rose's genetic father) takes on the Smart Guy role as the team's chief strategist (though he does have an AI double to help him out).

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* While not part of a FiveManBand, computer programmer Raimi definitely fulfills this function in ''BrokenSaints''.
* Iridescence from ''WebAnimation/DusksDawn'', sort of. It's inferred that she's an expert in the medical field by her Cutie Mark, and she senses something bad is happening in the De Noir's castle.
* [[AloofDarkHairedGirl Blake Belladonna]] fills this role for the eponymous team of heroines in ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'', due to her fondness for reading and her intimate knowledge of history and Faunas rights. [[spoiler:She has a reason for knowing all this stuff: she's a Faunas herself.]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In "Literature/CaelumLex" Cyrus, the Dionysian's engineer and resident tech nerd, is often one step ahead of everyone else, coming up with ideas and plans and solutions that no one else on the crew considered
* PHILLIPS from ''The Last Stage'' by WebVideo/NatOneProductions switches between this and NaiveNewcomer. He is incredibly knowledgeable about the paranormal due to his lifetime of research, but is inexperienced in the field. When [[TheLeader PATRICK]] needs to know what something is or does, though, PHILLIPS is the one he looks to.
* On the group Team Kimba in the ''WhateleyUniverse'', Phase is probably the smart one, even if Chaka seems to be best at coming up with ideas in the middle of a fight. Phase is over-educated for a freshman in high school, is most likely to use the big words, and is a smart aleck too. The SmartGuy they go to for gadgets is Bugs, who is a HotScientist.
* While not intelligent to a superlative degree, Chip from the web fiction serial ''Literature/DimensionHeroes'' proves on several occasions that his reservoir of book knowledge can prove beneficial in making it out of various tight spots the heroes get into.
* Open to debate, since none of the characters are all that bright, but in ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', Simmons is arguably the smartest member of either team when it comes to pure common sense.
* James in ''Literature/LightningDust: safe to say that Klaus can go to him to ask about certain monsters/baddies in town and would probably go to him for inventions to help him while fighting if James knew about LD.
* Eugene, [[WebVideo/MatthewSantoro Matt Santoro's]] {{nerd}}y clone. WordOfGod (Matt himself) says that, if Matt's clones had a fight to the death, Eugene would win - despite being physically weak, he could build something like a tank to defend himself, because he's the only clone intelligent enough to do so.
* Felix from WebVideo/TheBenHeckShow has become an EnsembleDarkhorse because of his software-savvyness, especially in Linux.